One cannot fail to overlook the poor state of Nigeria’s government websites. These websites are not only mostly contracted out to private firms for development but also poorly managed with varying attributes such as web Technologies, layouts and designs, nomenclatures and are often hosted outside the country. This current state of chaos needs to be addressed as soon as possible in order to facilitate proper access to government information and service.
Problem: Poor state of Nigerian Government Websites
Proposed by: Tomi Orunmuyi, ICT & Media Expert (Msc Telecommunication Systems Management – Queen Mary University of London, BSc Electrical Engineering- University of Ilorin)
Idea Status: Pitch
HOW DOES IT WORK?
First of all, put up a proper website for http://www.nigeria.gov.ng/ which currently has nothing!
Having a single point access to government information and services is quite important in this information age. It is therefore needed to aggregate all content currently available on all existing Government websites and ultimately enhance the intrinsic quality of the Government websites based on a set of predefined Guidelines and Policies.
The best way to ensure that this works is to build up web technology development capabilities within the government itself. This should not be difficult as there are Nigerians who possess the required skill-set to pull-off such a feat.
Judging by the current situation, it is very likely that Nigeria’s Ministry of Communication Technology and its agencies are incapable of managing Nigeria’s Government websites. It simply means that the wrong people are making the decisions. It only makes sense to restructure and hire of new able hands.
A Guidlines document for all Nigerian Government websites similar to what the Indian Government published in 2009 would go a long way in ensuring an acceptable level of standards. This should cover all areas relating to Design, Development, Hosting, Content Quality and Management.
It is essential that revamping Nigeria’s Government websites should not be seen as a one-time affair where it is achieved by contracting to private firms. It should be approached with the consciousness that it is a continuous project that needs to be reviewed frequently due to the ever evolving nature of web technologies.
In gathering the skills needed, the government should poach highly skilled and talented individuals from the private sector in order to build a formidable team of developers, designers and content managers.
This is also not the time to appoint some old Professors or PhD holders to head Technology teams that need to be dynamic and vibrant. In my opinion, the government is already filled with such academicians and we cannot categorically state that the country is better for it.
Some points to note:
Hosting: must be done IN NIGERIA. I know that galaxy backbone (A government owned establishment) provides web hosting services.
Development: No wordpress websites, please!
Full impact potential: Standardization and uniformity of Nigeria’s Government websites, projection of a better image of the Nigerian government on the internet.
Funding: Federal Government of Nigeria
Marketplace: e-Governance, Tourism
Other interesting facts:
As of the time the article was written, Nigeria’s government website has nothing meaningful on it.
In 2013, UK’s government website was named the Best Design of the Year by the Design Museum in London, beating out 99 shortlisted buildings, inventions, and cars for the honor. The video below was put together by Dezeen.com
Written by: Tomi Orunmuyi